Congressman Dana Rohrbacher remembers a moment when he was a young campaign staffer back in California. You were giving a whistle stop speech, and there was a small group of blind children in the crowd. Their teacher asked if you could greet them.
Sure, you agreed, but not with the photographers or reporters around. After the press had left, Rohrbacher saw you go to the children and shake their hands. Then you knelt so they could "see" you by touching your face.
"What politician can you think of who would not have given a million dollars to have the press get pictures of him in a scene like that?" marveled Rohrbacher, "But not Reagan."
I just love the idea of this big, tough conservative guy smiling as little hands put a face to his voice in their own way. I really love that he did it away from the cameras, not for credit but out of respect and decency.
That's the kind of person I want as my President. I could care less, honestly, if they can rattle off from memory the name of the Defense Minister for Uzbekistan. They have people for that. I care more about what kind of person they are.
Which is probably why these the stories of 'A' and Chloe and their families are something I find admirable.
Here's a quote from the story about 'A':
I can’t give you the conversation by word, but she said, “Awwww” and kind of melted when she saw A. She asked her name and age. Then she hugged her. She actually got watery eyes (ed. 3rd and 4th pictures below, you can kind of see that). Remember, even though she is Governor, VP candidate, she is still new to the world of DS. She said she was so glad we brought A to see her. She just kept smiling and looking at A. I told her we brought a gift for Trig and gave her the t-shirt. (ed. Cousin ordered a t-shirt for Trig that said “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I thought that was sweet.) I told her that I have such admiration for her because when A was Trig’s age, I was still crying …. Oh yeah, I just remembered - A blew kisses to both John McCain and to Sarah during our little visits.
You're not going to read about this in the New York Times or Washington Post, and I have no evidence that Barack Obama doesn't do this kind of thing as well. But let's face it, we're down to something like 1300 hours before the election, and while you can cynically call this 'masterful retail politics' the fact that some of that time is being devoted to meeting with, acknowledging and supporting families like this makes me proud of the folks on the GOP ticket.
I'm sure a campaign is a long and difficult thing for all involved. You need to fuel up, physically, mentally and spiritually, and be careful where you spend that fuel. It makes me happy to see where McCain and Palin fuel themselves up.
Sarah+Palin John+McCain decency